2020 CSU Guitar Symposium Artists
A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Grisha Goryachev is renowned for his extraordinary musical sensitivity and technical virtuosity in both classical and flamenco styles.
Grisha is one of very few guitarists in the world who is reviving the tradition of solo flamenco guitar in a concert setting that was practiced by legendary flamenco masters such as Ramón Montoya and Sabicas. He creates his own interpretations of these masterpieces, using dynamics and tone colors usually associated with classical guitar. In May 2005 Grisha was awarded the prize for Best Performance of Spanish Music at the VI International Classical Guitar Competition "Julian Arcás" in Almería, Spain.
Grisha began playing guitar at the age of six, studying first with his father Dmitry, an acknowledged master teacher of the instrument. At nine years old, Grisha started his performing career as a child prodigy. His numerous performances in the most prestigious concert halls in the Soviet Union were highly praised.
Grisha received his Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied under famous guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk. Since his immigration to the United States in 1995, Grisha has toured extensively in the states and abroad as a performer, instructor, and judge for many prominent festivals and venues.
The Syracuse GuitarDuo is composed of the guitarists Nello and Simone Alessi, inextricably linked by solid reasons of human nature, being father and son, even before reasons of a musical nature. The idea began to take shape within the home walls when Simone, at that time little more than a child, began playing on the guitar under the watchful guidance of his father, the guitarist Nello Alessi.
Only in the year 2007 did the duo give life to an effective artistic activity, with commitment and professional interest, quickly highlighting a harmony and a communion of musical intent that led him to hold many recitals, for prestigious musical institutions, in Italy and abroad.
The repertoire of the Duo ranges from baroque to contemporary music (several composers have written and dedicated some of their works to the Duo) passing transversally from ethnic and popular music. In fact, in the Duo's programs there are transcriptions and reworkings of famous melodies, belonging to the national and international popular tradition. These latest works, still unpublished, are being published and will make up the program of the next record edition of the Duo.
Fascination of the Guitar: The Amadeus Guitar Duo
They are counted among the top-class international guitar duos, receiving enthusiastic reviews from all over the world. Canadian Dale Kavanagh and her German partner Thomas Kirchhoff have made up the Amadeus Guitar Duo since 1991. The secret of their success, regularly documented by more than 70 concerts per year, is the complete devotion of the two artists to their instrument. Hence they did not limit themselves to playing as a duo, but began to concentrate on the repertoire for guitar and orchestra. Thanks to their commitment, this genre was soon able to emerge from its niche. In more than 100 cities, they played their "Spanish Night" recital, featuring concertos for one, two and four guitars and orchestra by Joaquin Rodrigo and the world-famous panpipe player Gheorghe Zamfir and they are considered as the specialists for works for guitars and orchestra.
The Amadeus Guitar Duo has so far appeared in more than 1.800 concerts in some 70 countries in Europe, Central, South and North America, and Asia. The duo has always been able to delight its audience with its exuberant temperament, virtuoso performance, sensitive creative power and a fulsome, warm, carrying guitar tone. They regularly play together with the Prague, Mainz and Mannheim Chamber Orchestras, the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Halle Philharmonic State Orchestra, the International Philharmonie, the Gotha-Suhl Thuringian Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Hungarica, the Capella Cracoviensis, the Ankara President Orchestra and the South Westphalian Philharmonic.
Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchhoff have recorded a large number of productions for radio and television (BBC, ZDF, CBC, WDR, BR, TRT, etc.). They have also recorded 21 CDs (NAXOS International, Haenssler-Classic) which document the high quality of the Amadeus Guitar Duo. The two artists' stirring commitment and inspiring style of playing have enabled them to considerably broaden the repertoire for guitar, especially for guitar and orchestra. Such renowned composers as Harald Genzmer, Gheorghe Zamfir, Roland Dyens (Paris), Jaime Zenamon (Curitiba), Christian Jost (Cologne), Carlo Domeniconi (Berlin), Gerald Garcia (Oxford), Martin Herchenröder (Siegen) have written orchestral concertos for them. Stephen Dodgson (London), Harald Genzmer (Munich), Jaime M. Zenamon (Curitiba) and Christian Jost (Cologne) have dedicated compositions for two guitars to them. All works have been published by Schott's, Mainz - Edition Margaux, Berlin, Edition Peters, Frankfurt, and Verlag Hubertus Nogatz, Essen.
In 1992 they founded the International Guitar Symposium in Iserlohn, which is today one of the most important festivals of its kind in Europe, with more than 250 participants from more than 40 countries, concerts featuring world-famous stars, master courses, lectures, exhibitions and many other activities (www.guitarsymposium.com).
They celebrated their 25th anniversary as the Amadeus Guitar Duo in the season 2016/17. In the season 2019-20, these successful musicians have been invited to tour the U.S.A., Canada, South-Korea, China, Thailand, England, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Turkey, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary and Poland. Today, Dale Kavanagh and Thomas Kirchhoff live with their daughter Melissa-Rachel in Germany, and both are professors who have been teaching at the newly launched guitar class of the Detmold Musikhochschule since 2003 (www.hfm-detmold.de). The Amadeus Guitar Duo play exclusively D'Addario strings on guitars made by Antonius Müller, Germany, Steven Walter, USA and guitars made in China by MARTINEZ GUITARS.
MINNEAPOLIS GUITAR QUARTET
Virtuosic yet contemplative, propulsive yet intimate, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has captivated audiences throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. From J.S. Bach to Piazzolla to Prince, MGQ's inventive and eclectic programs are enlivened by a bravado and synchronicity that have been honed through decades of classical training and concert experience. The foursome—Joseph Hagedorn, Maja Radovanlija, Ben Kunkel and Wade Oden—builds an uncommon rapport with its audiences through its engaging stage presence and distinctive humor. "More than a guitar quartet, more than superb musicians, and more than a great chamber group," says composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain. "They are ambassadors of sound, style, and substance."
The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet's highly varied repertoire includes their own acclaimed arrangements of music by Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi, Finnish accordionist Maria Kalaniemi, and classical composers Joaquin Rodrigo, Alberto Ginastera, and Modest Mussorgsky. Their numerous commissions include Balada del Bosque y el Ave for guitar quartet and flute by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, and Ian Krouse's StarWaves, an exhilarating fusion of rock and classical music based on a song by British pop/rock musician Nick Drake. MGQ's diverse and innovative collaborations include programs for guitar quartet with choir, programs with flamenco dancer Sachiko "La Chayí", and a program with Chinese pipa master Gao Hong. MGQ has been heard on the nationally syndicated radio program Saint Paul Sunday, and on National Public Radio's Performance Today, and has garnered international critical acclaim from its six CDs on the Albany, GSP, and innova labels.
The cultural accessibility of the guitar makes it a natural for MGQ's various educational and community engagement programs like its popular "Guitar Talk" for all ages. MGQ's newest educational offering is its "Guitar Ensemble Crash Course", a 90-minute class introducing participants to the "hands-on" experience of guitar ensemble playing, culminating in a live performance. All members of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet are collegiate faculty members and frequently conduct master classes and workshops at festivals and universities throughout the United States.
LI & ZOHN DUO
The musical relationship between guitarists Erdong Li and Andrew Zohn began in 2013 as student and teacher. Li moved from his native China to pursue graduate studies under Zohn's direction at the Schwob School of Music (Columbus State University). Upon Li's joining the faculty of the Schwob School in 2018, the two have toured extensively throughout the United States and China including performances in such major events as Guangzhou and Hangzhou International Guitar Festivals, Solstice Guitar Symposium (Connecticut), and the ECU Summer Guitar Workshop.
Andrew Zohn has enjoyed a decades-long career as a performer, composer, and much sought-after teacher. He has performed concerts on five continents including venues in China, Malaysia, Egypt, Argentina, as well as throughout North America and Europe. Students of Andrew Zohn have won prizes in over 100 international competitions and have been featured on National Public Radio. Original compositions and transcriptions by Andrew Zohn are published through Les Productions d'Oz, Canada, Tuscany publications (Theodore Presser), and FJH Publications. His recordings for Clear Note and Centaur Records have received wide acclaim from American Record Guide, Classical Guitar Magazine, GuitArt Magazine, Soundboard, Guitarra Magazine, and Rosewood Review. Zohn's latest solo recording Saudade Eterna was released in 2019 through Contrastes Records (Spain).
Erdong Li has performed on the guitar throughout China and the United States, with the mission of promoting cultural exchange through musical celebration. Currently serving on the faculty of the Schwob School of Music (Columbus State University), Li also is vice-chairman of the Wenzhou Guitar Association (China) and tours throughout China annually as a part of W.E. Duo with violinist Weiru Sheng. Li received his Master's Degree at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University (GA). He holds a Bachelor's Degree in classical guitar from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing; while there, he was also actively performing on electric guitar in a rock band throughout the region. This rich combination of influences from two cultures results in a truly special approach to music, one which includes a variety of styles ranging from acoustic folk to electric guitar, and which allows students to develop brilliant sound, solid musical skills, and abundant creativity.